Before passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last year, Congress removed a provision that would have financially rewarded health care providers for having annual end-of-life counseling discussions with patients. Over the Christmas holiday weekend, The New York Times revealed that the Obama administration’s Medicare regulators have restored this highly controversial provision through new regulatory guidelines. In other words, writes Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer, the executive branch is enacting by regulatory fiat what the legislative branch explicitly opted not to enact.
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